Want to earn R6m a year? This is the sector you need to be in

2019-01-21 13:10

Which position can earn you up to R6 million a year? A group or regional chief financial officer in a multinational corporation, that’s what.

Recruitment firm Michael Page has just released its 2019 annual South Africa salary survey. The survey is based on the insights from actual placements made throughout the year in the region.

South Africa may be battling to claw its way out of an economic crisis but, even in the current market, there are a number of candidates with niche skill sets or relevant experience who are able to command higher salaries, due to a low supply of talent.


Besides the financial sector, the legal profession is also lucrative. The survey showed that general legal counsels for big companies and partners in international law firms can earn up to R5 million a year.


“In the current market, there are a number of candidates with niche skill sets or relevant experience who are able to command higher salaries, due to a low supply of talent,” commented Lars Fischer, operating director of Michael Page Africa.


Generally speaking, Fischer said that salaries and bonuses have tended to follow a consistent pattern over the past five years, with steady increases to reflect inflationary pressures.

“But the South African labour market has once again been unpredictable,” Fischer said.

“Despite a short recovery observed in South Africa in the first half of 2018 and the emergence from a recession with a 2.2% GDP growth in the third quarter, the official unemployment rate is back at its 2017 level. This is due to weak investment and consumer confidence, along with continued limited household spending and private investment.”

With the economic stimulus package announced in September 2018 and a heightened commitment to attract foreign investment, Fischer expected a positive economic impact on the GDP growth and the unemployment rate for 2019.

But the majority of sectors would remain under pressure, so significant drivers for a more positive development will come from the banking and financial services, and IT and transportation sectors.



“As a result of limited household spending and private investment over the last three years, local and international organisations continue to be cautious when expanding into the African markets,” said Fischer.

“Despite organisations’ reservations, our specialised Africa recruitment teams have managed to improve year-on-year results by 63%. The region has also created a significant demand for recruitment services in South Africa, with many head offices based mainly in Johannesburg or Cape Town.”

Fischer said that whether it was management level positions based in South Africa or technical/niche roles based in Johannesburg which entail extensive regional travel, the growth of these markets was propelling the South African labour market.

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November 10 2019